Rami Malek Reveals How He Prepared to Play Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

rami malek freddie mercury side by side h

When it came to preparing to play rock legend Freddie Mercury, it’s safe to say Rami Malek went the extra mile.

The Bohemian Rhapsody star recently opened up about the painstaking lengths he went to to ensure he did the late musician justice in the upcoming biopic.

“I would consistently go back to his interviews and performances just to understand the [different] sides of him,” the Mr. Robot star told Entertainment Weekly. “Obviously, there is a very brave, brash entertainer who hits the stage. And then there is a human being who can be reclusive and lonely behind closed doors.”

Malek went on to admit it was challenging to capture Mercury’s dual nature as “someone who had grown up in Zanzibar and got shipped off to school in Bombay, and upon his return to Zanzibar, fled a revolution with his family and went to London.” He added, “That type of childhood is emblematic of someone who is starving for identity.”

But tapping into Mercury’s personal history didn’t stop there. Malek flew to London on his own dime to do research for the role and immersed himself in Mercury biographies and old videos. He even sat down with Queen band members Roger Taylor and Brian May to get a better sense of the iconic musician from those who knew him best. 

Malek also explained that he wore false teeth to mimic Mercury’s characteristic overbite and grew so accustomed to them that he “felt quite naked” when the film ended.

It’s official: Rami Malek is the champion of taking his job really seriously. Yaass, Queen!

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Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.